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Pole to Pole

Day 36: Kiev to Cerkassy

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleAlarm wakes me at six. It's a Sunday, but no day of rest as we continue southwards. We are travelling by river as far as Cerkassy on the Katun, a 215-foot barge with a canary-coloured hull, carrying a mixed cargo of bottles, fabrics, sports equipment, clothes, children's push-chairs and electrical appliances down the Dnieper to the port of Cherson on the Black Sea.

The Katun is a barge of character. She's forty years old next year, and her interior features wood rather than plastic or the ubiquitous Formica. Two small cabins below the bridge have been set aside for our use. One has a writing-desk and chair, an old oak wardrobe and an enamel washbasin, with an alcove containing what looks like the world's most comfortable bed. Sitting at the desk, looking through a porthole, I imagine I could be Joseph Conrad, though the football team photo above my head, featuring the chunky lads of Metalworkers Zaporozje, doesn't quite fit the romantic illusion.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 36
  • Country/sea: USSR
  • Place: Dnieper River
  • Book page no: 81

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